Insure the services you offer for Equine Assisted Growth and Development

Equine Assisted Services, also sometimes called Equine Assisted Growth and Development, is a complicated activity in terms of insurance. Why? Because any of the following statements may describe what you do:


  • You provide horses for the use of therapy for patients who may or may not be physically or mentally challenged
  • You assist a professional physical therapist, psychologist or psychiatrist
  • You’re certified and trained to provide horse and horse handling services for therapy
  • You’re a riding trainer or instructor
  • You’re a licensed professional therapist who provides the service to other therapists

As a business venture in Ontario, you’re not covered under your Homeowners or Farmowners Insurance. And as a business it comes with liability concerns. Obviously the greatest concern is a worsening of a condition or any bodily injury that can occur while handling a large animal. You want to make sure that the attending professional therapist, if it’s not you, holds a degree in their area of expertise, and that the therapist carries their own Professional Liability Insurance.

You may also have instructors and volunteers to worry about. With so many variables to worry about, Henry Equestrian Insurance Brokers Ltd., can help you understand the insurance that you need.

What you’ll discover in this report:

  • Common claims that people make against Equine Assisted Services
  • How you can plan ahead
  • The coverage offered by a Commercial General Liability Policy
  • Other types of insurance you should consider

What are the most common claim incidents for equine assisted services?

  • A patient or someone else is injured when a handler loses control.
  • A lawsuit focused on your services/treatments aggravating the original injury or causing a new injury.

How can I plan ahead?

We know that you care about the horses and your clients. There are steps to take to make sure that an accident never happens in the first place.
1. Enforce barn rules.
Look around and develop rules for your environment for both horses and people. Also write procedures. Then train every staff member to make sure they understand your rules and procedures.

2. Plan for emergencies.
Emergencies happen, but the better prepared you are, the better chance you have of providing the proper care to all the horses. If you’re prepared you can minimize the severity of any accident.

3. Develop semi-annual inspections of your property.
By inspecting your premises for potential hazards, you can take care of them before an incident occurs.

4. Prepare a written waiver and review Ontario’s Occupiers’ Liability Act.
Anyone who participates in any horse activities on your premises needs to complete and sign the waiver. Make sure that you keep the signed forms on file and safely stored. The Occupiers’ Liability Act states that the stable owner/operator owes a duty of care to the people who enter their premises. This assures that any property they bring on your premises with them is also reasonably safe. You are free to restrict, modify or exclude this duty of care through your written waiver.

5. Follow Ontario’s Horse Riding Safety Act.
This legislation states that it’s mandatory that anyone under the age of 18 years of age must wear a helmet that meets ASTM, BSI or European Safety Standards and hard-soled footwear with a heel of no less than 1.5 cm.

6. Purchase an Equine Liability Insurance Policy.
Protect you and your business with an insurance company that knows horses and your business. You want to make sure that any legal feels are covered, claim costs and settlements to ensure that in the case of an accident, your business doesn’t suffer a financial loss.

What’s included in the Commercial General Liability Policy?

The policy gives you maximum limits or amounts of liability insurance for:

  • Medical expenses:  You can be sure a claimant’s low cost medical expenses are covered without a lot of questions about liability or responsibility.
  • Legal defense costs: You can save your business the financial burden of court costs if you’re sued, whether the case has merit or not.
  • Claims or settlement costs: Without this policy you could be held responsible for bodily injury and property damage claims.

Are there other coverages I should consider?

  • Equine Professional LiabilityAdd this endorsement for every instructor to protect them from exposure. There’s a separate premium charge for this coverage.

At Henry Equestrian Insurance Brokers Ltd., we respect the work you do to help people recover from injuries and understand your love of horses. We’ll make sure that we protect you and your business. Don’t delay, call us today or click on Get a Free Quote.